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Feb. 23, 2006


COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Virginia men’s swimming and diving team stands in second place Thursday (Feb. 23) after two days and seven events of the 2006 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship. Virginia trails Florida State by 20 points at the four-day conference championship, which is being held at Maryland’s Campus Recreation Center Natatorium.

Virginia, the seven-time defending champion is second at the 2006 ACC Championship with 217 points with Florida State taking the lead with 237 points. North Carolina is third with 164.5 points, while Georgia Tech is fourth (158.5) and NC State is fifth (145). Clemson (141.5), Virginia Tech (126), Maryland (118.5), Duke (54), Boston College (42), and Miami (20) round out the field.

Virginia opened the second evening of competition by going one-two in the 500 freestyle. Fourth-year Fran Crippen (Philadelphia, Pa./Germantown Academy) won his fourth consecutive 500 free title with a NCAA automatic qualifying time of 4:18.99. Crippen became just the second ACC swimmer to win four straight ACC titles in the 500 free, matching UVa’s Austin Ramirez who won the 500 free from 1997-2000. Third-year John Millen (Lilburn, Ga./Parkview) was runner-up to Crippen in the 500 for the second straight season. Millen clocked a time of 4:19.26 to also automatically qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Third-year Stefan Hirniak (Highland Park, N.J./Princeton Day) rounded out UVa’s 500 free finalists as he placed sixth with a time of 4:26.20 (NCAA “B”).

The Cavaliers picked up their second event victory of the evening as well as another one-two finish when second-year Pat Mellors (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) successfully defended his 200 individual medley crown. Mellors posted a NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:46.62. Fourth-year Ryan Berg (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) was runner-up to Mellors with a career-best time of 1:48.75 (NCAA “B”). It is the second time Berg has been runner-up in the 200 I.M. at ACCs. Third-year Vanja Rogulj (Zagreb, Croatia/Split) finaled in the 200 I.M. for the first time and placed sixth with career-best time of 1:49.34 (NCAA “B”). UVa also had two swimmers compete in the consolation final of the 200 I.M. Second-year PJ Sullivan (Franklin, Mass./Bishop Feehan) was 10th with a time of 1:50.57, while first-year Tony Colella (Austin, Texas/Westwood) took 16th place in a time of 1:51.88.

The Cavaliers rounded out the evening by competing in the 200 freestyle relay. UVa was eighth with a time of 1:22.18. FSU won the relay with a time of 1:19.43. Fourth-year Ethan McCoy (McMinnville, Ore./McMinnville) and third-year Greg Imboden (Chattanooga, Tenn./McCallie) swam the first two legs of the relay for Virginia, while Rogulj and second-year Bryan Stahl (Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) swam the final two. McCoy and Imboden competed in the preliminaries of the 50 free and barely missed the consolation final with their swims. McCoy was 17th in the 50 free with a time of 20.70, just three hundredths of a second behind the two swimmers who tied for 15th place. Imboden touched in 20.75, just eight hundredths of a second shy of making the consolation final.

The one-meter diving competition, which took place last weekend at the Women’s ACCs, was factored into the team scoring with Florida State outscoring UVa 43-15.

The ACC Championship continues Friday (Feb. 24), with preliminaries beginning at 11:00 a.m. and finals commencing at 7:00 p.m.

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